A man in a workshop uses a smartphone to take a picture of a leather bag. The bag is a messenger bag with two buckles on the front; it's sitting on a table made of wooden planks. The man has blond hair and is wearing a light blue button-up shirt under a dark blue apron with a leather pocket on front. Behind him in the workshop are racks of clothing and shelves holding a couple of potted plants.
Instagram offers several options for promoting your business and products. Your ads can focus on one product offering, advertise a collection, or create immersion through Stories. — Getty Images/OR Images

If you use Instagram, you’ve likely seen at least one “sponsored” post while scrolling your feed or stories. These posts, also known as paid Instagram posts or Instagram ads, can help you get your products or services in front of millions of prospective customers.

Here is your step-by-step guide for creating a paid Instagram post for your business.

What are Instagram ads?

Instagram ads are posts a business pays to have appear in people’s feeds and stories, alongside users’ followed and suggested accounts. Paid Instagram posts will be denoted with a “Sponsored” icon and can also have a call to action below the image.

Businesses can leverage several types of Instagram ads:

  • Shopping ads. Businesses can advertise their products in users’ main feeds via shopping ads, in either image or video format. Similar to an organic Instagram posting, businesses can also post carousel images or video ads.
  • Collection ads. Collection ads appear in users’ main feeds and include a cover image or video, with three product images below it. When someone clicks the ad, they will be redirected to the shop’s Instagram storefront.
  • Stories ads. These full-screen video or picture ads appear between users’ Instagram stories, making for a more immersive and natural experience. Businesses can use text, interactive stickers, and other organic features within Instagram stories.
  • Explore ads. Users in the Explore section of Instagram can discover related content, including paid ads. An Explore ad will only appear after someone opens a non-sponsored post in this section.

[Read more: 5 New Social Media Tactics to Try in 2023]

If you are looking to maximize Instagram’s ad targeting and reporting capabilities, you can create a start-to-finish ad campaign through Ads Manager.

How to advertise on Instagram

Businesses can advertise on Instagram by utilizing Instagram Boost or Meta Ads Manager. Instagram Boost allows you to promote an existing post, while Ads Manager helps you create a paid campaign from scratch.

Instagram Boost

If you’re looking to dip your toes into paid Instagram ads and have a post that’s performing well, you can promote a post via Instagram Boost.

Once you’ve set up your business Instagram account and connected it to a Facebook business page, boost a post with these five steps:

  • Click “Boost post” on your chosen post. You will be directed to a menu where you can set paid ad parameters.
  • Select your goal. Choose from “more profile visits,” “more website visits,” or “more messages.”
  • Define your audience. Instagram can use follower data to generate a target audience, or you can create your own targeting options.
  • Choose your budget and duration. Select how much you want to spend each day and for how many days.
  • Finalize your selections. Review the paid post and click “Boost post” again to launch your live paid post.

[Read more: 6 Elements of a Great Social Media Post]

Ads Manager

If you are looking to maximize Instagram’s ad targeting and reporting capabilities, you can create a start-to-finish ad campaign through Ads Manager. Follow these eight steps to launch your next paid Instagram ad:

  • Create a new ad campaign. Sign into Ads Manager and select the account you wish to advertise on — you will need a Facebook business page to run a paid ad. Then, click “Create.”
  • Choose your objective. If you are launching a new campaign, you’ll need to select one of six objectives: awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, or sales.
  • Name the campaign. Type in the name of your campaign; be as specific as possible, especially if you are planning to run multiple campaigns.
  • Decide on your budget and schedule. Go to the left-hand menu bar and select “New [chosen ad goal] Ad Set,” where the ad goal will reflect your selection in Step 2. Choose your daily budget (ideal for “always-on” ads) or lifetime budget (ideal for ads running through a specific date). Then, indicate your schedule, which includes the start and end date, as well as what times the campaign will run (if applicable).
  • Identify your target audience. Create a new audience for your campaign with multiple parameters, including location, demographics, and interests.
  • Choose Instagram ad placements. You can choose Advantage+ placements to automatically show ads where they are expected to perform best. Or you can use manual placements to determine where your ads will or will not appear.
  • Create a new Instagram ad. Return to the left hand menu, and underneath “New [chosen ad goal] Ad Set,” select “New [chosen ad goal] Ad.” Here, you can customize your ad’s layout, copy, visuals, and tracking parameters.
  • Publish to the feed. Select “Publish” in the bottom right corner to launch your campaign. You can monitor the success of your ads by checking Instagram Analytics regularly.

[Read more: 5 Smart Social Media Hacks for Busy Entrepreneurs]

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